Tagged With toys

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My daughter has some stacking shelves in her bedroom closet where she keeps her board games. I put up with them because they’re better than my previous organisation method of nothing, but I’m quickly realising they are less than ideal.

If she tries to grab, say, Hoot Owl Hoot, and it’s at the bottom of one of the shelves, the games on top of it come crashing down. That board game tower gives me mild anxiety, now that I think about it.

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A recent Facebook post from a childhood friend got my attention: “Anyone looking to get rid of legos?” I had just that day been assigned a story on how to recycle or pass on used LEGOs, so of course I immediately thought of one of my favourite words, which in this situation was most applicable: kismet. But beyond coincidence, the post signified just how much LEGOs are a part of many parents’ lives — whether their kids are currently enjoying them, or they want to get more of them, or they want to get rid of them.

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A typically geeky holiday might sound something like this: You wake up on the morning of December 25, run down to your Christmas tree, unwrap everything in a frenzy, plug in all your long-awaited gadgets, connect them to your wifi, and speed past the installation screens (or manuals) to start having all kinds of fun.

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This Thursday, 15 November 2018, is a great day to take your kids to Build-A-Bear workshop to create a new teddy bear. On Thursday, the price for creating your own cuddly friend will be your age. So, if you're looking for a new furry buddy to snuggle this is the week to do it.

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Here’s a secret: Kids’ favourite toys cannot be found on any store shelf. Instead, just about everything you need to stimulate, captivate and exhaust your young offspring is probably already in your possession, hiding in your linen closet, kitchen cabinet or garage.

Once you start digging around your home (as my husband and I do, frequently at 5:00AM these days), you’ll find endless novelties to present to your kids without needing to shop, wrap or spend a cent — at least until they start begging for their own phone.

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Babies. You buy them nappies, but they decide to pee on you during changing time. You make them gourmet pureed meals, but they're most satisfied gnawing on their boogers. You give them beautiful toys, but all they want to play with is the TV remote.

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When asked to name a popular toyline from the '80s, most people will plump for He-Man, Transformers or Cabbage Patch Kids. Very few would mention M.U.S.C.L.E (AKA 'Millions of Unusual Small Creatures Lurking Everywhere'). It's the toy fad that time forgot.

Originally from Japan, these bubblegum pink, lycra-clad action figures enjoyed a brief popularity boom in the mid 1980s. They combined everything kids from that era loved - monsters, robots, superheroes and wrestlers - distilled into the size of a pinkie finger.

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Kids are born innovators. Any parent who’s caught their child building pyramids out of restaurant creamer cups knows this. KiwiCo helps them channel their creativity with monthly subscription boxes of STEAM-focused activities — with these hands-on kits, little makers might build an arcade claw, design their own pinball game, or create a paint pendulum. The company was founded by Sandra Oh Lin, a mother of three in California. We asked her how she parents.

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US Build-A-Bear stores recently put on a Pay Your Age event, promising customers they could pay their age for just about any stuffed animal in the store. That meant if your kid is three, she could have snagged a furry friend for three bucks. What could go wrong, right? It’s only every child’s dream to bring home their very own snuggle buddy from the famed toy chain. (As a parent of a five year old, I’ve at times wondered if I should find an alternate route at the mall when I’m in a hurry so that my child won’t stop in front of the store and beg, “Pleeeeeeeease, Mum, can we go in?”)

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Jolie Kerr is a cleaning expert, advice columnist and author of the New York Times bestselling book, My Boyfriend Barfed In My Handbag ... And Other Things You Can’t Ask Martha. Her flagship column, “Ask a Clean Person”, debuted in 2011. Here on Lifehacker, we’ve launched a new iteration of it, focusing on parenting and all the messes it brings.